Posts Tagged ‘lingonberry jam’

Dive Night is a semi-monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of “dive.” Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot with a laid-back atmosphere and good food. We’ll find the interesting hang-outs in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. Casual attire required. A sip of beer or wine doesn’t hurt either.

Once a year, if we’re lucky, the fearless foursome of Dive Night has dinner at the Minnesota State Fair.  It’s a good thing we all like the fair.  We don’t shy away from the crowds and endure the heat (which was tremendous this year) like real troopers.  Husby and I were hosts to the experience, so after meeting at the beloved Fairchild statue we headed out to The Garden.

The Garden has been serving food for a long time, but I’ve never eaten there simply out of habit.  Back in the day it was a beer garden and they may or may not have served food.  But of course I was much too young to go into a beer garden, so I pretty much passed it by even when I was of age merely out of habit.  Dive Night was the perfect opportunity to see what it was all about.

In the true spirit of an old-fashioned beer garden this building is very large and very loud. They even have live music in the form of bands and karaoke.

On opposite sides of the building there are two different “restaurants.”  One side serves Chicago Dogs, the other side is known as Ragin’ Cajun.  A nice variety.  Of course The Garden still serves alcohol of the beer/wine variety.

The Chicago Dog side of The Garden.

I love the animated neon – dancing hot dogs!

The Ragin’ Cajun side of the building.

The Cajun side had very large Mardi Gras masks hanging at the counter. They were kind of scary.

It didn’t take us long to decide what we wanted to eat.  The men went for the Chicago Dogs.  There were standard recipe hot dogs available, like the Chicago Dog, Chili Dog, etc., or you could get a hot dog with your choice of toppings.

Ray’s hot dog. The dog itself is 1/4 pound. They had a long list of toppings too. Looks like Ray got some onions and cheese, and probably some other stuff. Served on a very nice looking poppy seed roll.

Husby got one topped with sauerkraut and onions. It looks like he has some mustard, or maybe banana peppers?

Meanwhile, Ruthie and I went over to the Ragin’ Cajun side and both ordered a shrimp po’ boy.

The shrimp po’ boy comes with spicy shrimp, lettuce, onion, and a really good Cajun-spiced mayo sauce. There was a good amount of shrimp that was freshly prepared before going into the sandwich.

The sandwiches were loved by all.  For drinks the guys got a beer, I got a black cherry Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and Ruthie, obviously the most dehydrated of us all, got a bottle of water.

We couldn’t stop at po’ boys and hot dogs.  We had to get some dessert!  There is no better place than at the Minnesota State Fair to get something satisfyingly sweet.

Husby got some lefse. It was filled with lingonberry jam and topped with sliced almonds and whipped cream. I apologize for taking the picture too late. It was much prettier when he received it. It was hot and the cream began to wilt a little before I got the shot. Husby loved his Scandinavian treat.

Ray and Ruthie shared a funnel cake topped with raspberry sauce and powdered sugar.

I had a s’more on a stick. Everything is served on a stick at the fair. They put three marshmallows on the stick. Then they dip that in chocolate, after which they roll the whole thing in crushed graham cracker. There’s some kind of sweet batter over everything to hold it all together.

It was much easier to eat my s’more on a stick sans the stick and with the aid of a fork. So intense and pretty dang good.

So ends our Dive Night at the fair.  We stayed late and watched the fireworks, which go off every night after the Grandstand show.  All in all a very delicious and merry evening!

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